Marvel reported its Q3 results on Thursday, and sales and operating income were up substantially, with net profits down due to a tax swing.  Q3 sales were up 60% over 2003, to $135 million, and after-tax net profits were $34 million, a little over half last year's number due to the impact of paying taxes, vs. paying no taxes last year. 


Sales in all three of Marvel's divisions went up.  Publishing sales were up 15%, to $22.6 million, due to a 5% increase in copies sold and increases in advertising and custom comic sales. 


Toy sales were up 86% due to the Spider-Man 2 movie toys.   


Licensing sales were up 66%, due to strong increases in international, Marvel Studios licenses, and revenues from the Spider-Man joint venture. 


Marvel increased guidance for 2004 to $490-$500 million in sales for the year, with net profits of $109-$111 after taxes.  Marvel is expecting to take a $4 million charge in the fourth quarter to reflect the costs of terminating its current lease early; it's moving to another New York location in 2005. 


Marvel expects to earn $120 to $126 million in 2005, on lower sales of $370-$390 million.